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St. Petersburg, Russia: Where the buildings are more than just a pretty face.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

'Baby you're all that I want. When you're lying here in my arms, I'm finding it hard to believe, we're in heaven...' These are the words that welcomed my brother and I to the city of St Petersburg, and moreover to the country of Russia. Although not quite heaven, St Petersburg did offer us some godly experiences. In particular, those involving our visit to the Church of our Saviour on Spilled Blood and the State Hermitage museum, which left me assured that if I ever need some interior design work done, I need to hire a Russian.

Cost: 250 rubles (i.e. 6 AUD)
Opening times: 10:30am - 6pm (October - April); 10:30am-10:30pm (May-September); closed Wednesday.
To me, this church is an 81-metre tall analogy for the saying that it's beauty on the inside that counts. Sure the church is mindblowing on the outside however, it is the murals that completely cover the interior walls that really get the neurons in my cerebral cortex firing. The church is located more or less on the banks of the Neva river and despite visiting in mid-July, we did not need to line up to buy our tickets and were able to walk almost instantly inside. My jaw has still not aligned from having dropped open entering this mural wonderland. 

Cost: 600 rubles (i.e. 15AUD) Opening Hours: 10:30 - 18:00 (21:00 on Wednesdays; closed Mondays)
The exterior of the Hermitage alone can stand up against any palace, past, present and while we're at it we may as well assume future also. It makes all other palaces bow down to its grandeur. To be honest, the contents of the palace were not of particular interest to me, but the interior design of the building is worth a visit in itself (although my brother informs me that there are an impressive number of must-see historical pieces for the history buffs among you). The decadent design work will surely blow you away and make you want to take Sia's advice and swing from the chandelier.

(Hint: Buy your ticket online to avoid spending your day lining up rather than exploring the museum!)